“I asked God to give me His eyes and help me care for others. I wanted to love people like Jesus did.” – Marty Washington
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
“Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath
“It was the lyrics to ‘Give Me Your Eyes’ that got my attention as I was driving one day,” said Marty Washington. “I’d been in a busy season as a parent, but our children were getting older, and I wanted to do something outside of myself. I asked God to give me His eyes and help me care for others. I wanted to love people like Jesus did.
“My husband and I started looking for a place to serve, and when we walked into Cornerstone Baptist, just south of downtown, we knew it was the right place. Every week Cornerstone serves meals to homeless people in the surrounding neighborhood. There is also a clothes closet, a women’s Bible study and other ministries. But it was in the kitchen where I met a woman I’ll never forget.
“Her name was Joann, and as she was eating her lunch she looked at me and said, ‘sorry I’m taking so long. I don’t have any teeth and my gums are infected.’ I remember that because I’d never put myself into the shoes of someone who had a dental problem and couldn’t do something about it. Her life seemed so different from mine, but it didn’t feel that way for long.
“As I started serving at the women’s Bible study, I got to know Joann and other women. Most of the ladies didn’t know their father and were raised by their mother, an aunt or a grandparent. Many came from homeless shelters, and all of them lacked stability. The Bible study became the one constant in their week. We built friendships and talked about the hope we have in Christ. Some women have come to trust in Christ and others are still learning.
“We meet at a place called the White House, just around the corner from Cornerstone. Watermark volunteers partner with believers from other churches, and the women from Cornerstone have become part of our lives. The one thing I’ve learned is that everything our friends do is really hard. The ladies don’t have homes or cars. What little money they have is coming from the government. Even getting a cell phone involves standing in a long line.
“That’s what makes Watermark’s GLOW: A Day of Beauty so special. Each year at the Dallas campus, local hairdressers, beauty professionals and volunteers host women from our partner ministries for a day of beauty. The ladies from Cornerstone are treated like the valuable people they are in God’s kingdom. From getting their hair and nails done to the way they are greeted and loved by the volunteers, GLOW reminds the women that they are children of the King.
“I still have the photograph of Joann at GLOW a couple of years ago. For her to be cared for in a loving way was the sweetest thing. Joann and all of the ladies just glowed when they left Watermark that day.
“It’s easy for the women to come to a place like this and think that the volunteers have their lives together. At lunch, the ladies hear a testimony from a woman who was once in their shoes and is now walking with Christ. That is always so encouraging, and it is a reminder that we as believers should share our stories too.
“Serving in South Dallas, I have seen humanity, and I have seen humanity broken down. I’ve met women living in some of the worst places you can imagine. Some ladies come to our Bible study to find a safe place and escape violence on the streets. No matter where they come from, our job is to go through Scripture and share the gospel. Some of the women are in and out of the Bible study, and we may never see the results of our time together until we get to Heaven. For now, our job is to be faithful.
“Joann was in and out of our Bible study and in and out of addiction and recovery as well. After getting kicked out of a rehab facility, Joann went back on the streets and was hit by a car and killed. She had no identification, no family, and nobody knew she was missing. The emergency room personnel found her name by matching her fingerprints to jail records. Through friends at Cornerstone, I eventually found out that Joann was gone.
“Joann is the one who drew me into serving at Cornerstone. Through the Bible study, I had the privilege of demonstrating God’s love to Joann and others. I’m thankful to say that Joann trusted in Jesus as her Savior. I thank God that because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the work He did in both of our lives, I will see Joann again in Heaven some day. I cannot wait.”